NewsMissoula County


Cold weather prompts Poverello Center to adjust policies

Johnson Street Emergency Shelter
Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 19:41:35-05

MISSOULA — Bitterly cold air is entrenched across western Montana -- and with even colder temperatures on the way -- the Poverello Center has adjusted some policies to get as many people in the doors as possible.

Director of Development and Advocacy Jess Jaeger says their main location on Broadway has been right at their 88-person capacity throughout the winter. But the new Johnson Street winter shelter has served between 90 and 100 most nights, which is short of its 150 person capacity.

In an effort to keep those who are experiencing homelessness indoors at all times, the Broadway location has adjusted cleaning procedures, while still meeting all COVID safety protocols -- including social distancing and proper sanitation.

Jaeger says he believes they will continue to meet the needs of the community through the extended arctic blast.

"I don’t anticipate that we are going to get over that 150-mark at the main facility there,” Jaeger said. “We have a pretty good handle on who is where in the community as far as what their shelter needs are and we’re feeling confident that we’ve got the capacity to make it through the next week or so."

Jaeger adds the center is in need of hats, gloves, and hand-warmers as well as cash donations. Click here to find out how to make donations.